KPAC Blog

The KPAC Blog features classical music news and analysis.  From a detailed look at Wagner's masterpiece "Parsifal," to an inside look at the Latin Grammys, the KPAC Blog features writings about some of the music played on air as well as other interviews and essays about classical music.

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Classical Music
3:16 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

The Surprising Staging of the Symphony's "Rusalka"

Sebastian Lang-Lessing
San Antonio Symphony

If you’re used to going to see the symphony at the Majestic, there is the stage, and there is the audience and ne’er the twain shall meet…but not so with “Rusalka.”

“Rusalka is kind of an adult fairytale. This is rather a grand opera." 

James Robinson has traveled from St. Louis to stage “Rusalka.” As he explains, the details of the opera itself demand a lot from everyone in the production.

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KPAC Blog
12:22 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Opera Piccola Presents 'La Curandera' At Empire Theatre

Along with the San Antonio Symphony's "Rusalka," another opera is coming. It’s called "La Curandera," and it’s got a fascinating backstory.

“La Curandera is a very special opera for us," said Opera Piccola General Director Mark Richter about the opera written by former San Antonian Robert Xavier Rodriguez. It’s modeled after Mozart’s "Bastien and Bastiene," but with a twist.

"It’s definitely Mexican culture that’s going to be in the music and on the stage," Richter said.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:26 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Watch Musicians Elevate A Trip To A Big-Box Store

Courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:34 pm

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Classical Music
2:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

New Music Shines at Classical Grammy Awards

Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider accepts her Grammy Award. Her album Winter Morning Walks earned three awards yesterday at the pre-telecast Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:52 pm

"New classical music is well and alive," Brad Wells, director of the vocal collective Roomful of Teeth, said yesterday as he accepted his Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.

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KPAC Blog
11:09 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Music, Opera & Mermaids, Symphony's Performance Of 'Rusalka' Has Got It All

Sebastian Lang-Lessing
John Clare TPR Arts

After a week off, the San Antonio Symphony’s Dvořák Festival continues Friday, and it continues to stretch in different directions. This week's festival performance features the San Antonio Mastersingers, but as Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing describes, they won’t be in standard choral layout.

"A lot of the singing, especially from the ladies, will be offstage," he said. "So they are the offstage mermaids from underground."

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Classical Music
2:24 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Inspiration Or Embarrassment? Lang Lang And Metallica Teaming Up At Grammys

Guitarist Kirk Hammett (left) and his band Metallica will join classical pianist lang Lang on stage at the Grammy wards telecast Sunday night.
Getty Images/Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:44 am

Odd musical mergers in the Grammy Awards telecast are nothing new — remember Paul McCartney, Linkin Park and Jay-Z singing "Yesterday?" Still, when thrash metal band Metallica and classical pianist Lang Lang take the stage together Sunday night, it may seem more like a head-scratcher than a clever match.

Or will it?

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KPAC Blog
11:34 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Musical Offerings Brings Dvorak Repertoire To SAMA

Wikimedia Commons

Musical Offerings has its own take on presenting chamber music, specializing in presenting concerts at several cultural locations in town, rather than one home base, according to Artistic Director and violinist Joan Christenson.

“Many of the different museums in town, some of the churches, Trinity University, UTSA," she said.

They’re playing Monday night and at a place that really lends itself to their music, the San Antonio Museum of Art.

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Book Reviews
9:11 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Music And Chemistry Are An Explosive Combination In 'Orfeo'

W.W. Norton

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:47 pm

Richard Powers, whose novels combine the wonders of science with the marvels of art, astonishes us in different ways with each new book. His 11th, Orfeo, is about a 70-year-old avant-garde composer who has sacrificed family and fortune to his relentless pursuit of immortal, transcendent music.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:19 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Tracing The Career Of Claudio Abbado, A Consummate Conductor

Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala.
Giorgio Lotti Mondadori/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 2:55 pm

Claudio Abbado, one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation, died Monday in Bologna, Italy, at age 80. His death was announced by a spokesperson for Bologna's mayor, saying that it followed an unspecified long illness. Abbado had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2000; following surgery for that illness, he was transformed into a hauntingly gaunt figure.

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Classical Music
2:19 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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